BK Micro Car Collection BK GROUP - Helsinki
Production of both the SA50 M & SA50 ME Passola finally ended in 1985

Yamaha Passola 50

Yamaha

Motor

Company

Limited

(Yamaha

Hatsudōki

KK),

is

a

Japanese

manufacturer

of

motorcycles,

marine

products

such

as

boats

and

outboard

motors,

and

other

motorized products.

The

company

was

established

in

1955

upon

separation

from

Yamaha

Corporation,

and

is

headquartered

in

Iwata,

Shizuoka,

Japan.

The

company

conducts

development,

production

and

marketing operations through 109 consolidated subsidiaries as of 2012.

Led

by

Genichi

Kawakami,

the

company’s

first

president,

Yamaha

Motor

began

production

of

its

first

product,

the

YA-1,

in

1955.

The

125cc

motorcycle

won

the

3rd

Mount

Fuji

Ascent

Race

in

its

class.

The

company's

products

includes

motorcycles,

scooters,

motorized

bicycles,

boats,

sail

boats,

personal

water

craft,

swimming

pools,

utility

boats,

fishing

boats,

outboard

motors,

4-wheel

ATVs,

recreational

off-road

vehicles,

go-kart

engines,

golf

carts,

multi-purpose

engines,

electrical

generators,

water

pumps,

snowmobiles,

small

snow

throwers,

automobile

engines,

surface

mounters,

intelligent

machinery,

industrial-use

unmanned

helicopters,

electrical

power

units

for

wheelchairs

and

helmets.

The

company

is

also

involved

in

the

import

and

sales

of

various

types

of

products,

development

of

tourist

businesses

and

management

of

leisure,

recreational facilities and related services.

Passola scooter

Yamaha introduced the SA50 M Passola in May 1980. It represented the first serious attempt by a major motorcycle manufacturer to exploit a previously untapped market. The Passola was primarily marketed to women and commuters as a way of getting to and from work cheaply and economically. Due to motorcycles being predominately male transportation, a lot of women wouldn’t consider a motorcycle as a means of transport. So to try and attract these potential buyers, Yamaha chose to opt for an extremely economical and fully automatic moped. Nearly all the mechanical components are hidden behind body panels, which mean the result is a blend of Japanese technology and Italian scooter styling and layout. The number of controls has been deliberately kept to a minimum, often at the expense of astonishing complexity beneath the body panels; a good example of this is the sophisticated vacuum controlled fuel tap and cold start system, both of which are fully automatic in operation and have no manual controls, but instead rely on a complex network of tubes and valves. The Passola’s major handlebar controls are limited to a throttle control and two brake levers. The bike also features a fully automatic transmission system, so the bike is as simple to operate as it can be; open throttle to go, and apply brakes to stop, hence the term; Twist & Go. The UK version has a two-speed transmission which is governed by road and engine speeds, being fully automatic in operation. This provides brisk acceleration up to about 30 mph; the prescribed maximum speed for mopeds. The version supplied to certain Europeans has a single speed transmission but has similar performance overall. The Passola was so successful in its intended market; it induced production of machines from a few rival companies. One machine that springs to mind is Honda’s 50cc Melody. In July 1982, Yamaha released the Passola SA50 ME. This was also known as the Passola Electric, and it differed in detail to the pre-1982 model by featuring an electric starting system and minor specification modifications. Included in these modifications were a larger capacity battery and uprated charging system to cope with the new starting system. The starter motor is located behind the transmission cover and drives through a modified 1st speed clutch. Other detail changes included restyled speedometer and handlebar plastics, restyled leg-shield, a redesigned oil tank and modified wiring and hose routings. Production of both the SA50 M & SA50 ME Passola finally ended in 1985.

1980

Engine 50cc 2-stroke Quoted from PassolaPassion.com
Photos mainly by Matti Kreivilä. Historical facts and technical details of the vehicles provided by Wikipedia. Movies YouTube.